Expected to be endorsed at the annual conference in September are three new chapters in the southern region: Florida, Kentucky and Alabama. Because only three chapters in that region – Atlanta, the Carolinas, and Louisiana – have existed until now, the new chapters will fill critical gaps for investigators who could not travel many hours to attend meetings.
In Florida, Chris Faiella, director of forensics at GRS Forensics and incoming chapter president, says the proposed chapter is currently composed of 28 federal, state, and local law enforcement and private industry members. “The focus is on leveraging the chapter’s collective experience for the betterment of our community and our country,” he says. Specific goals: education, information sharing, methods and techniques, and professional networking.
Faiella adds, “Through this effort, members of law enforcement can gain insight into areas they may not otherwise be introduced to, and members of private industry can gain understanding and insight into areas they may not otherwise be aware of – while also better understanding the needs of law enforcement and what they can do to assist in matters of urgency and importance.”
Taking into account the expense of training, along with budget and staff cuts, the Florida HTCIA chapter intends to provide quarterly training on advanced technical matters of joint interest as expressed by the membership. “Our chapter is very lucky to already count as members technology experts and professional technology instructors who will help to make this possible,” says Faiella.
Activities around forming the Florida chapter began in January of 2010. Monthly meetings will be held about mid-month; while the focus is on Miami, the chapter intends to arrange meetings in other major Florida cities at least twice yearly. “Our next meeting will be on June 23rd,” says Faiella, “with two more meetings coming up in mid-July and mid-August.”
Russell Yawn, a member of the state Office of Prosecution Services in Hoover, Alabama, plans to draw membership from a wide variety of sources. So far, membership includes 15 to 20 people from the, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Hoover Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Tuscaloosa Police Department,” he says.
Because Yawn’s office is located at the National Computer Forensics Institute, a joint training effort between the OPS and the US Secret Service, he expects to be able to draw students from the computer forensic program at University of Alabama-Birmingham, as well as people from Huntsville, which is north of Birmingham. “Huntsville has a huge aerospace industry,” he explains, “and I hope to have some of the meetings in Huntsville as an incentive for them to join.”
Major Jack Prindle, commander of the Electronic Crime Division at Boone County Sheriff’s Office, says the Kentucky chapter has had two meetings: the first in February to gauge interest, the second in March to elect interim officers. They are:
- President: Jack Prindle, Major, Boone County Sheriff
- First Vice President: Sherwin Kidd, Hewlett-Packard
- Second Vice President: Kathryn Reed, Attorney General’s Office
- Secretary: Terry Hankins, Fortress Defense
- Treasurer: Andrew Schierberg, Kenton County Police
Other agencies and organizations who have had personnel express interest in membership are: US Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, Discovery Pro Inc., Federal Bureau of Investigation – RCFL, Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training, Lexington Police, Bowling Green Police, Wilmore Police, Oldham County Office of Technology, and Union Township – Clermont County Ohio.
“In order to boost interest and attendance at meetings we are trying to rotate the geographical location of meetings between Northern Kentucky, Louisville, and Lexington areas,” says Prindle. The most recent meeting, in June, was held at the Office of the Attorney General in Frankfort, Ky. At this meeting was discussed trying to get the forensic examiners to trade information, techniques and ideas, and Bill Baker of the Attorney General’s Office presented on forensic techniques.
We’re looking forward to having these chapters join us in September. Drop a comment to say hello, or better yet, if you’re in these regions, get in touch (see each chapter president’s LinkedIn profile linked above) and attend a meeting!
Want to start a chapter? Learn how here.